New year, new start! Jo Oliveri offers some practical suggestions to raise the bar in the next 12 months.
IF YOU WANT TO be a game changer in 2015, you are going to need to start it with a purpose. These five simple strategies in the areas of operations, technology, leadership, marketing and customer service can help you stand out from your competitors and attract more clients this year.
- OPERATIONS: BEING PROACTIVE WINS YOU CLIENTS
For too long, property management has been a reactive industry. But in 2015 operating a proactive property management business is not only possible, due to the plethora of available technologies, but it’s what your clients want.
Proactive operations mean implementing proactive policies. These give you the ability to lead your team, let them take anticipatory action and consequently deliver a better service to your clients.
To make your policies proactive, ensure they cover key operational areas, including your legislation, culture, standards, processes and relevant codes of conducts.
They must be understood by all parties, and of course need to be pre-emptive in their approach.
Implementing proactive operations in the New Year not only puts you out in front of the overwhelming number of agencies that still operate reactively, but helps attract and retain clients too.
- TECHNOLOGY: APPS STREAMLINE YOUR SERVICE
Whilst our industry has never been on the cutting edge of technology, if you want to be a game changer in 2015 then you have to put yourself there. As our clients become more technologically savvy, so too should we. If you don’t allow your business to adapt to change and adopt new technologies then you risk losing touch with the ones who keep your business afloat.
As more and more people own smartphones and tablets, more and more apps are flooding the market. To offer your clients cutting-edge communications and service standards, you should implement appropriate property management service apps into your existing operations. Research has shown that apps can save you time and money, help you remain relevant with your clients and streamline your operations.
Most importantly, as the majority of property management businesses are failing to adapt to change and adopt new technologies, using apps will position you as a game-changing leader in the industry. As a result, consumers will choose your agency because they know you deliver the innovative, technology-driven service they are looking for.
- LEADERSHIP: TAKE CONTROL
Lead your property management business; don’t let your property managers do the hard work. Making the decision to be in charge and take control of your business in 2015 will separate you from your competitors.
History shows that principals who rely on their property management team to make operational decisions and inform them what’s going on in their business not only have a lower team retention rate but earn less income too. This is the year you should step up and become the key decision-maker in your business. This means guiding, nurturing and supporting your team as they work towards achieving agency and individual targets.
Taking control also means protecting your agency’s brand, culture, service standards and reputation, and not allowing your team to steer your business in a different direction. Make the decision to be in charge of your business and stop letting others take the reins. This will separate you from the majority of agencies that lack leadership and consequently deliver an inferior service.
- MARKETING: CONTENT MAKES YOU A LEADING AUTHORITY
If you want to be a game changer in 2015, your agency must be seen as a ‘leading authority’. As the saying goes, if you don’t have a website then you don’t exist. However, in the New Year if you are not publishing content then you don’t exist. That means whilst you may have a website you probably don’t have an authoritative voice in the industry, as you are most likely not publishing ongoing, SEO optimised content.
A static website, emails, letters and the occasional phone call no longer cut it. If you want to stand out from your competitors, you have to invest time in planning and executing a content marketing strategy. A content marketing strategy can be defined as the process of developing, producing and sharing relevant and valuable content to attract, acquire and engage a clearly defined and understood audience in order to drive profitable consumer action.
Research has shown that many businesses in other industries will be increasing their content marketing budgets and volume in 2015. Learn from their example and start publishing content that delivers greater value than your competitors. This will not only position you as a leading authority amongst your consumers, but also differentiate you from the overwhelming number of laggard agents who most likely only offer astatic website.
- SERVICE: PREMIUM FEES, PREMIUM SERVICE
Competing on fees is not the way of the future. Our consumers are savvier and more informed than ever before. As a result, they now want a premium service and are prepared to pay for it. The secret is out – low fees equals poor service. And, in this day and age where we operate in an interconnected society, you don’t want to be known as the agency that delivers a poor service, because you can be sure it will spread like wildfire over the Internet and cause harmful reputation damage.
Instead, 2015 should be the year your agency stops competing on fees and starts competing on service. This means charging a premium fee and delivering a premium service by implementing the discussed strategies. If you make this decision you will be perceived as higher quality, attracting more clients and earning higher profits both for them and your agency as a result.
So if you want to be a game changer in the New Year, implement these game-changing strategies. Be more proactive, invest in technology, take control, create some great content and start offering a premium service. You’ll stand out from the crowd, attract more clients and bring in more business as a result.